If you've been diagnosed with gum disease, there are a variety of treatment options depending on the particulars of your situation and the severity of the problem. We always start with the least invasive options, which are non-surgical. However, in more serious cases, surgery may be necessary.
Surgical Treatment Options
If the tissue or bone surrounding your teeth is too damaged to be repaired with non-surgical treatment, several surgical procedures are available to prevent severe damage and restore a healthy smile. We will recommend the procedure that is best suited to the condition of your teeth and gums. Following is a list of common types of periodontal surgery.
Pocket Depth Reduction
In a healthy mouth, the teeth are firmly surrounded by gum tissue and securely supported by the bones of the jaw. Periodontal disease damages these tissues and bones, leaving open spaces around the teeth that we call pockets. The larger these pockets are, the easier it is for bacteria to collect inside them, leading to more and more damage over time. Eventually the supportive structure degrades to the point that the tooth either falls out or needs to be removed.
During pocket reduction procedures (also known as “flap surgery”), we fold back the gum tissue and remove the bacteria hiding underneath, as well as the hardened plaque and tartar that have collected. We may also remove any tissue that is too damaged to survive. We then place the healthy tissue back into place. Now that the tooth and root are free of bacteria, plaque and tartar, and the pockets have been reduced, the gums can reattach to the teeth. To see a video of this procedure follow this link.
When the bone and tissue supporting the teeth has been lost due to severe gum disease, we can restore these areas with a regeneration procedure. During this process, we begin by folding back the gum tissue and removing the bacteria, plaque and tartar. Depending on your situation, we may then perform a bone graft to stimulate new bone growth, or we may place a special kind of protein that stimulates tissue growth to repair the areas that have been destroyed by the disease. To see a video of this procedure follow this link.
A frequent symptom of gum disease is gum recession (also called gingival recession). As the gums recede, more of the roots are revealed. This can make teeth appear longer and can also create sensitivity to hot or cold liquids or food. It also exposes the tooth to increased damage from gum disease, as bacteria, plaque and tartar attack the surface of the tooth and the root. During a soft-tissue graft, tissue from the top of your mouth or another source is moved and attached to the deficient gum area, covering the roots and restoring the gum line to its original, healthy location. This procedure can also be performed for cosmetic reasons.To see a video of this procedure follow this link.